Splash of Color from Down Under

One of the winter highlights here at Magnolia is the flowering of our very graceful, very under-rated grevillea shrubs. Originally hailing from Australia, there are over 250 species and varieties of this versatile plant. They vary in size, color and texture, but can be counted on to have slender leaves or needles, and to flower profusely in colorful clusters. The zones they thrive in depend on which species you plant, but the ones we carry are hardy to this area.

Grevillea - Magnolia Gift and Garden

Grevillea is a many faceted shrub with sought after attributes that can be hard to find all in one plant. First, they are drought tolerant. That is, once their roots are developed after a couple of years, they don’t require very much water. In fact, they don’t appreciate summer irrigation. Second, they are evergreen, keeping their leaves year round, with needles ranging in color from deep forest green to a soft grey. Third, they can be planted in a plethora of locations. Full sun is this tough shrubs favorite setting, causing it to cloak itself in brightly colored flowers which come in varying shades of peachy pink to bright fuschia to ruby red. A little shade will not dampen its spirits either. Fourth, because of the cheerful eye-catching, nectar filled flowers, which often appear for two months in winter, hummingbirds flock to these friendly shrubs.

For any tough spot to fill, a grevillea may be the plant that has all the answers. Their root systems will thrive in poor soils, and they can be cold hardy enough to be planted up the Pacific North West, and heat loving enough to go down into the deserts of Southern California. They are from Australia after all!

The only problems the grevilleas tend to have are when they receive too much love. They are the ideal low maintenance shrub, requiring only light applications of low- phosphorous fertilizer, if any. To keep them as cold hardy as possible, harden them off by not watering them in the summer time.

Here’s a peek at the varieties we have brightening up our nursery:

Lava Flow Grevillea
G. juniperina ‘Lava Cascade’– This compact shorty reaches 1-2 feet tall and spreads 6-10 feet wide. Deep green needle like leaves are not as sharp as some forms. Great frost tolerant ground cover shrub, dangling coral red flowers in the fall through spring. Will establish a large area quickly, and choke out competing weeds.

Penola Grevillea
G. lavandulacea ‘Penola’– Dense habit with half-inch gray leaves. Grows 5 feet tall and 8 or more feet wide, with rose red flowers through the spring. The gray foliage makes a great compliment to deep green conifers.

G. ‘Noellii’– Arching form 4-6 feet tall and wide, with glossy 1 inch needles. Spring blooming with pink and white flower clusters. Will thrive in full sun, with little to moderate water.

G. rosmarinifolia ‘Scarlet Sprite’– A fast compact mounding plant 4-5 feet tall and 8 feet wide, with dark green, fine textured needles 1 inch long. Large clusters of spidery rose pink flowers appear heavily in winter and spring. Frost hardy, full sun, light to moderate water.

Grevillea-magnolia-garden-nursery-chico-2

G. ‘Noellii’– Arching form 4-6 feet tall and wide, with glossy 1 inch needles. Spring blooming with pink and white flower clusters. Will thrive in full sun, with little to moderate water.

G. rosmarinifolia ‘Scarlet Sprite’
– A fast compact mounding plant 4-5 feet tall and 8 feet wide, with dark green, fine textured needles 1 inch long. Large clusters of spidery rose pink flowers appear heavily in winter and spring. Frost hardy, full sun, light to moderate water.

Japanese Pagoda accompanied by Grevillea - Magnolia Gift and Garden

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